Coldest air of season to descend on strong northwest wind

Updated: Snow, bitter cold - Bring pets inside, watch the pipes don’t freeze

Sat, 02/13/2016 - 8:00am

    UPDATE — The forecast has changed as of 11 p.m, Friday night, and the Midcoast is going to get even more snow. A winter storm warning is now in place until midnight, Saturday night, Feb. 13, and a windchill advisory remains in effect from then until 10 a.m. Sunday.

    Meteorologists are now predicting heavy snow, from 6 to 10 inches, with even higher accumulations in certain narrow bands. 

    Wind chills are anticipated to fall to 27 below zero Fahrenheit, with northwest gusts up to 35 miles per hour.

    Depending on the track of a trough, the Midcoast may get a good amount of localized snow on Saturday. With it, bitterly cold air and a strong northwest wind is to compound the winter conditions.

    Meteorologists are watching the likelihood that a deepening trough (low atmospheric pressure) between two air masses will bring snowfall to the Maine coast. Where the heaviest snow falls depends on its path. As of Friday evening, the trough could settle on the Midcoast, or head Downeast toward the Mount Desert area. If it’s the latter, the Midcoast and Penobscot Bay area won’t see so much snow; however, MDI could see up to 15 inches of it.

    In any case, the cold behind it will shiver the bones. Take care of pets, and bring them inside. Make sure water for livestock and horses is not frozen. And, beware the potential for freezing water pipes, which quickly can lead to burst water pipes.

    And, check on your neighbors, especially the elderly.

    As of Friday evening, the National Weather Service in Gray was calling for a winter storm watch for Saturday and a wind chill advisory for Sunday. The western mountains are to be even colder, where wind chill temperatures there are forecast to be minus 30 to minus 70 F, depending where on a hill one might be. 

    The NWS is expecting the following:

    Snow showers likely, mainly between 1 and 4 a.m., then snow after 4 a.m. Low around 16. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming south in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. Total nighttime snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
    Snow. High near 22 F. Wind chill values as low as zero. Blustery, with a north wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.
    Saturday Night
    Snow likely before 8 p.m., then a chance of snow showers between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 1 F. Wind chill values as low as minus 22. Blustery, with a northwest wind around 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
    Mostly cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 11 F. Wind chill values as low as minus 20. Blustery, with a northwest wind 10 to 20 mph.
    Sunday Night
    Mostly clear, with a low around 1 F. West wind 5 to 10 mph.
    Washington's Birthday
    Sunny, with a high near 25 F.

    Reach Editorial Director Lynda Clancy at; 207-706-6657